Besançon, France

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Besançon, France

Region: Doubs


Geographic Coordinates: 47.240000, 6.020000
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 35.0°C (14°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal climate and weather patterns in Besançon, France are influenced by its temperate oceanic climate, characterized by mild summers and cold winters with occasional snowfall.
Population: 118258
Language: French

Besançon, Located in eastern France’s Franche-Comté region, Is a charming city surrounded by lush green hills and forests. The city has a rich history dating back to Roman times, Which is reflected in its impressive architecture and cultural heritage. One of Besançon’s most iconic landmarks is the Citadel built by Vauban in the 17th century. The fortress offers breathtaking views of Besançon’s skyline and houses museums, Gardens, And even a zoo. Besançon boasts an impressive collection of museums showcasing its cultural heritage.

The Museum of Fine Arts features works by famous artists like Monet and Renoir while the Museum of Time displays an extensive collection of clocks from different eras. There’s also a Natural History Museum housing specimens from all over France. The historic center of Besançon is home to several medieval buildings with intricate facades that have been well-preserved over time. St Jean Cathedral boasts stunning Gothic architecture dating back to 1290. Nature lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Besançon with several parks where visitors can enjoy leisurely walks or picnics amidst beautiful surroundings.

Parc Micaud along River Doubs has vast green spaces perfect for relaxing or outdoor activities like jogging or cycling. No visit to Besançon would be complete without indulging in some local cuisine at one of its many restaurants serving traditional dishes like Comté cheese fondue or saucisse de Morteau (smoked sausage). The city is also known for its wine, Especially the Vin Jaune made from Savagnin grapes aged for several years in oak barrels.

Besançon offers something for everyone with its rich history and culture, Stunning architecture, Beautiful natural surroundings, And delicious cuisine making it a popular destination for travelers worldwide.



Important Landmarks

  1. Citadelle de Besançon is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most impressive fortresses in France, offering stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.
  2. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie is a museum housing an extensive collection of art and artifacts from various periods, including works by renowned artists such as Monet, Courbet, and Rodin.
  3. Cathédrale Saint-Jean is a Gothic cathedral dating back to the 12th century with beautiful stained-glass windows and intricate carvings.
  4. Horloge Astronomique de Besançon is an astronomical clock located in the Palais Granvelle that displays the time, date, moon phase, solar system movements and more.
  5. La Boucle is a historic neighborhood in Besançon with picturesque streets lined with shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.
  6. Jardin botanique de la Ville de Besançon is a botanical garden featuring over 6,000 plant species from around the world as well as greenhouses showcasing tropical plants.
  7. Musée du Temps (Museum of Time) – housed in an old palace built for Cardinal Granvelle it tells about timekeeping history through exhibits on watches clocks etc
  8. Porte Noire (Black Gate) – A Roman triumphal arch that dates back to 175 AD
  9. Grotte d’Osselle – One of Europe’s largest underground cave systems which features stalactites & stalagmites
  10. Parc Micaud – A large park situated on both sides of Doubs river which offers scenic views along with boating facilities

Primary Industries

  • Besançon, France is home to a variety of industries and businesses.
  • Some of the major industries and businesses in Besançon include:
    1. Watchmaking
      • Watchmaking has a long history in Besançon with many famous watch brands having their roots in the city.
    2. Microtechnology
      • The city is also known for its expertise in microtechnology with many companies specializing in this field.
    3. Healthcare
      • Besançon has a strong healthcare industry with several hospitals and medical research centers located within the city.
    4. Tourism
      • The rich history and cultural heritage make it a popular tourist destination with many hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses operating within the area.
    5. Education
      • The city is home to several universities and research institutions that contribute significantly to the local economy.
    6. Manufacturing
      • Besançon has a significant manufacturing sector that includes industries such as automotive parts production, food processing and chemical manufacturing.
    7. Information Technology
      • Many IT companies are based in Besançon due to its skilled workforce and favorable business environment.
    8. Renewable Energy
      • The region around Besançon is known for its potential for renewable energy production from sources such as wind power or solar energy which attracts various green energy companies into the area.

    Noteable History

    1. Roman Occupation: Besançon was founded as a Roman military camp in 58 BC and became an important city during the Roman Empire.
    2. Victor Hugo: The famous French writer Victor Hugo lived in Besançon for a brief period in the mid-19th century and wrote about his experiences there.
    3. Vauban: Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, a famous military engineer who designed fortifications across France, was born in Besançon in 1633.
    4. Joan of Arc: In 1429, Joan of Arc passed through Besançon on her way to meet with the Dauphin Charles VII.
    5. World War II: During World War II, Besançon was occupied by German forces from 1940 to 1944.
    6. Louis Pasteur: The renowned scientist Louis Pasteur spent part of his childhood in Besançon and later attended university there.
    7. Jacques-Louis David: The neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David was born in Paris but spent much of his life living and working in Besançon.
    8. Siege of Vesontio (58 BC): Julius Caesar laid siege to Vesontio (modern-day Besancon) during the Gallic Wars against Vercingetorix’s Gaulish army which lasted for nearly two months before Caesar’s victory.
    9. Franche-Comté region annexed by France (1678): After several wars between Spain and France over Franche-Comté region which included Bensacon, it finally got annexed by French King Louis XIV.
    10. Napoleon Bonaparte: Napoleon Bonaparte stayed at Chateau de la Roche near Bensacon while he planned his Italian Campaign.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie de Besançon (Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology)
    2. Citadelle de Besançon (Besançon Citadel)
    3. Musée du Temps (Museum of Time)
    4. Cathédrale Saint-Jean de Besançon (Saint John’s Cathedral)
    5. Maison natale de Victor Hugo (Victor Hugo’s Birthplace)
    6. Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Besançon (Natural History Museum of Besançon)
    7. Porte Noire (Black Gate, a Roman triumphal arch)
    8. Église Saint-Pierre (Saint Peter’s Church)
    9. Hôtel de Ville et Place du Huit Septembre 1944(Besancon Town Hall and September 8th Square)
    10. Musée Comtois – Maison des Hommes et des Techniques du Pays Comtois(Comtois Museum – House of Men and Techniques from the Comtois Country)


    Sports Teams

    1. Besançon Football Club: Founded in 1904, Besançon FC is the oldest football club in the city. The team has played in various lower divisions of French football and has a loyal fan base.
    2. Entente Sportive Bisontine Handball: Established in 1990, ES Bisontine Handball is a women’s handball team that plays in the top division of French handball. The team has won multiple national titles and regularly competes in European competitions.
    3. Besançon Basket Comté Doubs: Also known as BBCD, this basketball club was founded in 2009 and plays in the second division of French basketball. The team has quickly gained popularity among local fans.
    4. Racing Club de Besançon: Founded in 1896, Racing Club de Besançon is one of the oldest sports clubs in France and has competed across various sports including football, rugby, athletics, cycling and more.
    5. Union Sportive de Planoise et Environs (USPE): Established after World War II to promote sports activities among youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, USPE offers a range of sporting disciplines including football, basketball, boxing and more for both children and adults alike.


    Cultural Events

    1. Festival International de Musique de Besançon: This is a classical music festival that takes place every September in Besançon. It features performances by renowned orchestras, conductors, and soloists from around the world.
    2. Fête de la Musique: Celebrated on June 21st, this is a nationwide event that celebrates music of all genres. In Besançon, there are numerous concerts and performances throughout the city.
    3. Les Nuits de Fourvière: This is a summer festival that takes place in the Roman amphitheater in Lyon, but many people from Besançon attend it as well. It features theater performances, concerts, and dance shows.
    4. Fête des Lumières: Held every December in Lyon (but also celebrated in other cities), this festival involves lighting up buildings and streets with colorful displays of light.
    5. Festival Livres dans la Boucle: A literary festival that takes place every year in September where authors come to discuss their books with readers.
    6. Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur: Although not held directly within Besançon itself (it’s held just over the Belgian border), many people from the city travel to this film festival which showcases French-language films from around the world.
    7. La Foire Comtoise: A large fair held annually each May at Micropolis Exhibition Centre which includes rides for children and adults alike as well as food stalls selling local delicacies such as saucisse de Morteau or comté cheese!

    Cuisine

    • Comptoir des Ducs: This restaurant offers traditional French cuisine with a modern twist.
    • Le Casino de Besançon: This is a great place to try regional dishes like saucisse de Morteau and Mont d’Or cheese.
    • La Table de Suzanne: This restaurant serves classic French dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.
    • La Brasserie du Commerce: This is a popular spot for lunch or dinner, offering simple but delicious French fare.
    • Au Chaudron: This restaurant specializes in hearty, rustic dishes like boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin.
    • Le Bistrot du 34: Here you can enjoy traditional French bistro fare like steak frites and escargots.
    • Les Quatre Saisons: This restaurant offers fine dining with a focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms and producers.
    • L’Epicerie Comptoir: A great place to sample regional specialties like comté cheese and jambon persillé (ham terrine).
    • Chez Bachir: If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean flavors, this Lebanese restaurant is a must-visit spot in Besançon.
    • Le Petit Zinc: A cozy bistro serving classic French dishes with an emphasis on fresh seafood and locally-sourced produce.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Parc Micaud is a large public park that offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy, including walking paths, playgrounds, and a beautiful lake.
      2. The Citadelle de Besançon is an impressive fortress that has been transformed into a park where visitors can take in stunning views of the city.
      3. The Jardin botanique de Besançon is a must-see for nature lovers, with over 5,000 plant species on display in its beautiful botanical gardens.
      4. La Boucle is a scenic walk along the river Doubs that surrounds the old town of Besançon and offers breathtaking views of the city’s architecture and natural beauty.
      5. The Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie de Besançon is located in the heart of the city center and features an extensive collection of art and archaeological artifacts housed within an elegant building.
      6. Piscine Mallarmé provides visitors with indoor swimming pool options as well as water slides for those looking for some aquatic fun!
      7. La Rodia hosts concerts and events throughout the year making it one of Besançon’s most popular music venues.
      8. Patinoire Lafayette offers ice skating rink access to those looking to enjoy some winter sports.

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